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Introduction, by Mournblade


 Anonymous
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I'm a thirty year old man who had a bit of one of those "spiritual awakenings" about 10 years ago. Instinctively I returned to the Catholicism I had been raised in, and I began a process that some psychologist's call "reclaiming." All of those experiences of being raised Catholic, some of my first memories being of Church and kneeling with my face against the back of the pew because I was too small to see over it, began to make sense in an adult way. Within a few years however, I decided that Catholicism, whether right or wrong, was not the fit place for me as a person moving towards maturity.

I began studying the occult and esoteric as a 21 and a half year old tyro, getting involved in Neo-Paganism. Since then, I have shifted the focus of my study nearly completely, and I would say that the easiest possible label for my beliefs is "Neo-Gnostic," and I have a particular interest in the Gnostic group called the Docetics.

I am a fairly advanced student of hatha yoga and pilates, and also a fairly advanced student of centering meditation. I am not wholly a critic of Thelema, nor a believer in Thelema, but I do have an interest in Thelema. My interest in Thelema has by and large been a sidelight to Scripture and Gnostic textual study. Also, I have a massive interest in A.O. Spare, and one of these days will outlay the money for some of those collections of his.

On a personal level, I'm a recovering pill-head of 10 years, a real hell of a coffee-swiller and Marlboro smoker, and I have a penchant for old pulp fantasy and horror that goes back a long ways.

Finally, I do want to explain a final quick thing: I've been diagnosed with adult autism for a few years now. It took a while for the psychiatrist to get everything in order, but the symptoms are all there. Just as I can say "whether right or wrong" about Catholicism, my own views of my condition are important, but neither here nor there to my psychiatrist. Such is life. My social skills are great for a guy with autism, but people do have a tendency to take me the wrong way, and I've had trouble at Internet communities in the past. I would love to talk about the occult and esoteric here, but if trouble looms you may find that I just disappear.

That should do it for the introduction, and I'll be hunting for some topics here in a few minutes to delve into.


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lashtal
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Welcome to LAShTAL.COM...

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 Anonymous
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93 Mournblade, and welcome,

"mournblade" wrote:
I have a particular interest in the Gnostic group called the Docetics.

An interesting group, the Docetists, one that did not 'make the cut' into what became mainstream Christianity. I wonder if this failing was due to suppression by shepherds of the mainstream or failure to fulfill the needs of the mainstream itself?

93 93/93
Camlion


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gurugeorge
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A theory I like (well, it's my own πŸ™‚ ) is that the docetists were what was left (roundabout 300-400 CE) of the Gnostics who had toed the party line and thrown their lot in with Catholicism roundabout 100-200 CE when Catholicism started gathering momentum as a "unified" version of the Christian faith.


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 Anonymous
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"gurugeorge" wrote:
A theory I like (well, it's my own πŸ™‚ ) is that the docetists were what was left (roundabout 300-400 CE) of the Gnostics who had toed the party line and thrown their lot in with Catholicism roundabout 100-200 CE when Catholicism started gathering momentum as a "unified" version of the Christian faith.

Hey, George. I often wonder whether the 'offshoots' in a new aeon are suppressed, or if they are actually anticipating the next aeon, and thus fail to supply the demands of the current one. Just a thought.


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 Anonymous
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Camilion and gurugeorge, it is true that our only archaeological records of Docetism proper come from the time at just about the turning point where Constantine made Christianity the primary religion of his Empire, and it is also true that as many of the highly diverse sects of Gnosticism did, the bulk of what remained of Docetism at that time joined Constantine's movement. The main reason the Gnostic sects did this was to cover their rear end, and those that didn't found themselves annihilated over the course of roughly the next 100 years.

However, what interests me about Docetism in particular as a sect is one of the central pieces of its philosophy, and also its practice of Western meditation. One can't say for sure, but it is likely that the centering meditation described by Dionysus the Areopogite, and revived by Saint John of the Cross and Saint Theresa of Avila was of Docetic origin.

The central philosophical point is a fairly unique one in any time in history. Gnosticism drew heavily on Neo-Platonism, and Neo-Platonism was a dualistic philosophy. In our mainstream religions today, we have what is called "primary dualism," where the dualism between spirit and matter leaves "spirit" the primary factor in the dualism. This kind of thinking is blithely excepted in the West, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, rich over poor, and so on.

In the East, we see what is called a "dependent dualism." Particularly in advanced Buddhism, but also in advanced Vedic Hinduism, we see the description of a dualism where each part of the dualism relies on the other part, and neither part can exist without the other. This is an Eastern belief that runs throughout just about every informed Eastern belief, from Taoism right down to Jainism.

What the Docetics proposed is called an "absolute dualism." This particular idea is seen only in Docetic thought with any strength at all, but there are a couple of minor sects and thinkers in both East and West who have proposed it. The idea is that there is a dualism that exists where the two sides of the dualism have absolutely no relation to each other whatsoever. This configuration causes just as many problems in logic as any dualism, even dependent dualism does, but there is an appeal to this solution, and I'm following my star a bit on it.

I really appreciate the comments, because the unfortunate truth is that all of our sacred cows are a bit easy to topple over. I think this is a point that some of our "wise madmen," including Crowley and Spare have tried to drive home. I also think of some Old Testament passages where it says, "Hey. Lookit. An idol is an idol, no matter what the idol is, and the best thing to do with an idol is to smash it." There are those passages, and this, as well as my own sort of guiding star are the reasons why I devote so much time not only to the better Gnostic codices, but also canonical Scripture.

I know that was a long post, but the comments left at my intro required a bit of thoughtful response.


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gurugeorge
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"Camlion" wrote:
"gurugeorge" wrote:
A theory I like (well, it's my own πŸ™‚ ) is that the docetists were what was left (roundabout 300-400 CE) of the Gnostics who had toed the party line and thrown their lot in with Catholicism roundabout 100-200 CE when Catholicism started gathering momentum as a "unified" version of the Christian faith.

Hey, George. I often wonder whether the 'offshoots' in a new aeon are suppressed, or if they are actually anticipating the next aeon, and thus fail to supply the demands of the current one. Just a thought.

I tend to think the "message" is the same in every Aeon, only it's refracted differently in different times and places, and if you believe in the precession idea, over the vast spans of time (which are yet an eye blink in eternity) we call the Aeons. That is to say, different facets of the Truth are emphasised in various times and places, in such a way that hits home to the respective listeners in that time and place.

So there may well be people now who are enunciating truths that will "supersede" the Aeon of Horus when the time comes - just as there were "antecedents of Thelema" in the past. But yet at the profoundest level, they're only saying the same thing as in the previous Aeon, just with different 'erbs an' spices.

But then I would say that, as I'm more fond of similarities than of differences πŸ™‚


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gurugeorge
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"mournblade" wrote:
What the Docetics proposed is called an "absolute dualism."

Yeah that's an interesting and bold proposal (I think if you're right it does point to docetism being a further development of Gnosticism along a particular line of thought, since Gnosticism is already notoriously dualistic).

In a way, the duality of Nuit and Hadit can be seen as an over-arching absolute duality - but I suppose at a mystical level they're both absolutely different and complementary! What do +1 and -1 have in common with each other? Absolutely nothing! πŸ˜€

(I must admit my mind tends naturally towards synthesis, so I find it difficult to conceive of an absolute duality - it's like one or the other of the pair must be a "dangly bit" to the Universe, and being a rationalist I don't like dangly bits, so I tend to think more synthesis has to be done to unify them. But as I said in the previous post, that's probably just a limitation of my mind.)

A quote just popped up as possibly relevant: "Write that the tearing apart is the crushing together" from The Vision and the Voice.


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 Anonymous
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"gurugeorge" wrote:
"mournblade" wrote:
What the Docetics proposed is called an "absolute dualism."

Yeah that's an interesting and bold proposal (I think if you're right it does point to docetism being a further development of Gnosticism along a particular line of thought, since Gnosticism is already notoriously dualistic).

In a way, the duality of Nuit and Hadit can be seen as an over-arching absolute duality - but I suppose at a mystical level they're both absolutely different and complementary! What do +1 and -1 have in common with each other? Absolutely nothing! πŸ˜€

(I must admit my mind tends naturally towards synthesis, so I find it difficult to conceive of an absolute duality - it's like one or the other of the pair must be a "dangly bit" to the Universe, and being a rationalist I don't like dangly bits, so I tend to think more synthesis has to be done to unify them. But as I said in the previous post, that's probably just a limitation of my mind.)

A quote just popped up as possibly relevant: "Write that the tearing apart is the crushing together" from The Vision and the Voice.

Right. I understand that it sounds pretty preposterous, and this is the reason why it hasn't been proposed much in history. One of the better ways of looking at the idea is by looking at what was titled as the "Gospel of Truth," in the Nag Hammadi find. In the texts that were extant before, material from that text was included in the Valentinian (and later) Tripartite Tract. There was also an early version of the Tripartite Tract in the find.

Imagine this with me, whether you or anyone else agrees with the thought experiment: what the Gospel of Truth proposes is that truth and falsity are the primary dualisms, and that what is true is absolutely true, and what is false is absolutely false, and that there is no meeting point for truth and falsity. What we see developed in the Tripartite Tract and in some places in the rather jumbled Gospel of Truth is the idea that the initiation of the Gnostic moves one from a position of absolute falsity to one of absolute truth.

And just as a final sort of note, monism, which has some very great advantages over dualism as a philosophy, also has some incredibly large defects in it. In the end, it isn't important to figure out what exactly the "correct" philosophy is, however, but in my way of thinking, it is important to continue "doing one's own work."

Once again, thanks for the comments.


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 Anonymous
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What a cringe inducing introduction.


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 Anonymous
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Sorry to make you cringe. I do have a habit of rubbing people the wrong way. Also, in my own defense, interacting with people is always a stretch for me, and if you see me acting agitated, its because I'm having trouble making that stretch.


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 Anonymous
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"mournblade" wrote:
Sorry to make you cringe. I do have a habit of rubbing people the wrong way. Also, in my own defense, interacting with people is always a stretch for me, and if you see me acting agitated, its because I'm having trouble making that stretch.

You are really screwed up, aren't you?


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lashtal
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"seeyouintheentity" wrote:
You are really screwed up, aren't you?

Not a helpful remark, seeyouintheentity.

Please desist from personal insults.

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 Anonymous
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"lashtal" wrote:
"seeyouintheentity" wrote:
You are really screwed up, aren't you?

Not a helpful remark, seeyouintheentity.

Please desist from personal insults.

I apologise.


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 Anonymous
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"mournblade" wrote:
I am not wholly a critic of Thelema, nor a believer in Thelema ...

Thelema means "Will," as in "intent" and other similar terms. Everyone has a "Will." If one doesn't believe in their Will it's like saying, "I don't believe in the Sun."


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Baxian
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"Nataraj418" wrote:
"mournblade" wrote:
I am not wholly a critic of Thelema, nor a believer in Thelema ...

Thelema means "Will," as in "intent" and other similar terms. Everyone has a "Will." If one doesn't believe in their Will it's like saying, "I don't believe in the Sun."

Perhaps Mournblade means the philosophies of Crowley? This is what I often imagine Thelema to refer anyway.

If thelema means will as in intent, I would agree that everyone intent. If however Thelema means will as in purpose for being here, as Im sure I have read Crowley equate, then I would say its only a belief.
Because an equally possible belief is that we do not have a divine will to find out.

seeyouintheentity.

You are really screwed up, aren't you?

wow, lol what a nasty, childish thing to say.
You cant be serious? No, no, you must be one of those cringe comedians who like to shock, right? Or perhaps you really can be that mean spirited?


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 Anonymous
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"Baxian" wrote:
"Nataraj418" wrote:
"mournblade" wrote:
I am not wholly a critic of Thelema, nor a believer in Thelema ...

Thelema means "Will," as in "intent" and other similar terms. Everyone has a "Will." If one doesn't believe in their Will it's like saying, "I don't believe in the Sun."

Perhaps Mournblade means the philosophies of Crowley? This is what I often imagine Thelema to refer anyway.

If thelema means will as in intent, I would agree that everyone intent. If however Thelema means will as in purpose for being here, as Im sure I have read Crowley equate, then I would say its only a belief.
Because an equally possible belief is that we do not have a divine will to find out.

Hence, the definition (and usually the capitalization) of the words 'Thelema' and 'Will' differs in Crowlian Thelema and its relations from the words 'thelema' and 'will' in lessor usages of those words. πŸ™‚


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lashtal
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Baxian,

"Baxian" wrote:
"seeyouintheentity" wrote:
You are really screwed up, aren't you?

wow, lol what a nasty, childish thing to say.

I've publicly challenged seeyouintheentity about his ill-advised remark (see above) and he's apologised. Time to move on, now...

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